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Health Equity & Access Weekly Roundup: June 15, 2024

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The Center on Health Equity & Access shares the latest news, research, and expert insights on developments related to health disparities, gaps in care, and initiatives to address them.

CMS Innovation Center's Latest Moves: Embedding Equity Into Value-Based Care

At the CMS Health Equity Conference, experts discussed how to embed equity into value-based care. Purva Rawal from the CMS Innovation Center highlighted their focus on driving accountable care and supporting innovation to create a more equitable system. Leaders like Katy Tapp, Misty Chicchirichi, and Unini Odama shared how their organizations address social determinants of health and support underserved communities through data-driven approaches and personalized care. They emphasized that integrating health equity into care models is crucial for improving outcomes and reducing costs.

US Health Spending Hits $4.8 Trillion, Insurance Coverage Peaks in 2023 Projections

In 2023, US national health expenditures reached a historic $4.8 trillion, with a record 93.1% of the population insured, according to a CMS report in Health Affairs. Despite high coverage, health spending is outpacing economic growth, projected to hit $7.7 trillion by 2032. Medicare and private health insurance saw significant spending increases, partly influenced by the Inflation Reduction Act's efforts to reduce costs. Over the next decade, health expenditures are expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.6%, surpassing GDP growth and highlighting the need for sustainable health care financing.

Unveiling the AI Equity Gap: A Wake-Up Call for Health Care Systems

On this episode of Managed Care Cast, Paige Nong, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, discusses her study published in the Health IT bonus issue titled "Equity and AI Governance at Academic Medical Centers." Nong's research reveals that academic medical centers often neglect equity considerations when establishing governance for AI technologies. She emphasizes the urgent need for health systems and policymakers to incorporate equity literacy and robust oversight into their AI governance frameworks to ensure fair and inclusive use of these technologies.

Innovation, Affordability, Access: Alzheimer Disease Drugs and the Inflation Reduction Act

A new analysis published in The American Journal of Managed Care® examined the economic and clinical impacts of new Alzheimer drugs under the Inflation Reduction Act. Despite their high costs and moderate benefits, drugs like aducanumab-avwa and lecanemab pose significant financial challenges for Medicare and patients. The study highlights disparities in health care access and system readiness, calling for fair pricing and equitable access. It recommended adopting the ISPOR Value Flower framework to ensure diverse, inclusive clinical trials and comprehensive economic evaluations, aligning with the Inflation Reduction Act’s goals for sustainable Alzheimer treatment.

Frameworks for Advancing Health Equity: Immigrant Health

In the second episode of "Frameworks for Advancing Health Equity," Kheir Mugwaneza, project manager of the Immigrant and Refugee Health Program at Allegheny Health Network, discussed the program’s efforts to address health disparities in this community. The series, produced by the Center on Health Equity & Access, highlights various innovative initiatives by health care centers and their partners aimed at closing gaps in care and promoting equity. Mugwaneza shares how his program supports immigrant and refugee communities by providing tailored health services and fostering inclusive care environments.

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